Today, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid was awarded as the first Motorist’s Choice Award for compact SUVs by and AutoPacific, and is the only hybrid vehicle to be included on their inaugural awards list.

The Motorist’s Choice Award will be added to the long list of milestones the Mariner Hybrid has achieved since its introduction in November 2005, including being the first hybrid vehicle fit for presidential service, and being named the first “Green Car of the Year” by Green Car Journal.

“The Motorist’s Choice Award is a testament to the Mercury Mariner Hybrid’s distinctive design, SUV versatility and the hybrid technology,” says Tom Brewer, general marketing manager, Lincoln Mercury. “The Mariner Hybrid offers customers an unmatched combination of economic value, environmental benefit, and emotional appeal.”

Ford Motor Company has received more than 150 patents on the Mariner Hybrid’s hybrid powertrain system, which blends the best features of a gasoline engine and an electric motor. When the output of the 2.3-liter gasoline is not needed – during coasting, idling at stoplights, or crawling through slow traffic – the gasoline engine automatically shuts off. On demand, the gasoline engine and electric motor automatically team up to deliver maximum acceleration or passing performance. As a result, the Mariner Hybrid delivers comparable acceleration and passing performance to the conventional Mariner equipped with a 200 horsepower V-6 engine, and nearly a 50 percent increase in fuel economy.

The Mariner is joined by range of clean, fuel-efficient efficient Mercury vehicles. The full-size Mercury Montego delivers an impressive 29 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway, thanks to a fuel-efficient powertrain that features either a six-speed automatic or continuously variable transmission. The Mercury Milan PZEV emits zero evaporative emissions and 80 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average 2007 model year vehicle . In 2008, the Milan will also be available with a full-hybrid powertrain.

“The Mariner Hybrid is just one example of how Mercury is contributing to Ford Motor Company’s goal of delivering ‘greener miles,’” says Brewer. “We will continue to offer cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles that save our customers money at the pump, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Motorists’ Choice Award and AutoPacific created the Motorist’s Choice Awards to recognize the vehicles that deliver both the highest owner satisfaction and lowest cost of ownership. For the Motorist’s Choice Awards, vehicles are ranked by selected owner satisfaction data from AutoPacific surveys of new car and light truck buyers and’s rating methodology.

AutoPacific surveys 45 different vehicle ownership attributes, and of these, 38 product-focused attributes were used. These ratings were merged with seven attributes of cost-ownership addressed by depreciation, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, repairs and state fees.

“While the economic analysis of car ownership remains very important - it can save or cost you thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle - it is also important to recognize owner satisfaction as another significant influencer in vehicle purchases,” said James Bell, publisher of “With these awards, we have identified the vehicles that delight emotionally and economically - key points to consider when buying a vehicle.”

First Hybrid Outfitted for Presidential Service

Recently, Ford Motor Company delivered a customized Mariner Hybrid “Presidential Edition” to former President Bill Clinton – the first hybrid vehicle to be outfitted for presidential service.

The custom interior of the Presidential Mariner Hybrid emphasizes the comfort, convenience and productivity of an executive office, with details such as unique LED lighting, a 110-volt outlet and a new writing table. The Mariner Hybrid’s full-hybrid powertrain was unchanged, preserving its impressive 32 mpg in city driving, 29 mpg on the highway, and ultra-clean emissions.

The development of the Presidential Mariner Hybrid is a showcase of Ford’s and the Clinton Foundation’s commitment to innovation in the areas of energy and climate change. Earlier this month, President Clinton announced the formation of the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), a project of his foundation that is dedicated to making a difference in the fight against climate change in practical and measurable ways.

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